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TV networks say digital recorders raise viewership

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TV networks say digital recorders raise viewership

Old 11-16-05, 05:22 PM
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TV networks say digital recorders raise viewership

From the 'No S*** Sherlock Files'


http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051116/...evision_dvr_dc

By Michele Gershberg
2 hours, 58 minutes ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Far from being the TV doomsday machines that some have predicted, digital video recorders that allow viewers to skip advertising and watch shows at their leisure will actually boost television audiences, the major networks said on Wednesday.

That was the principal finding in a report issued by the six major networks -- CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, the WB and UPN -- that sought to allay concerns in the media industry that DVRs will undermine the commercial value of broadcast television.

Advertisers and investors have watched the entry of DVRs into the mass market with a keen eye for several years. Some predicted the features that let viewers skip ads and watch programs at their leisure would spell the death of ad-supported broadcast TV and its prime-time programing schedule.

But in their research on the use of DVRs, the television networks said the technology offered an opportunity to attract viewers who might otherwise miss shows when they first air.

"For most of the top television programs, the audience will be greater for these programs as DVR penetration increases," David Poltrack, head of ratings research for CBS, told reporters. "The DVR is going to increase viewership to major network television programs."

Nearly 8 percent of U.S. homes use a DVR, with that number expected to grow to 39 percent by 2010. Acknowledging that trend, Nielsen in January will begin to issue national television ratings that include DVR playbacks within a day of original airing and up to seven days later.

On average, homes with a DVR watched 5.7 hours of television daily compared with 5.1 hours for homes without the device, the networks said. DVR households still watch about 90 percent of their television at original broadcast time, while the remaining 10 percent that is recorded favor the most popular broadcast programs during a given season.

While 90 percent of viewers surveyed said they skipped all or most commercials when they watched a show played back on DVR, the networks' research showed 58 percent paid attention to the commercials in a fast-forward mode and 53 percent have gone back to watch an ad that interested them, the networks said.

Advertisers have already shifted a portion of their spending to new media outlets, trying to reach consumers who devote more time to the Internet or other forms of entertainment. Many view television as part of a bigger mix of commercial vehicles, but say it has lost its dominant role.

"No single aspect of additional media choices that are occurring today is that concerning," said Ellis Verdi, president of the DeVito/Verdi Advertising agency. "The pie has been split up many different ways."

Television networks are also exploring new revenue models without advertising, including a deal between ABC and Apple Computer Inc. to sell downloads of its most popular shows on the portable iPod media player. NBC and CBS will offer video-on-demand playbacks of their shows for a fee as well.

"I think the entire DVR thing is transitional," Poltrack said. "We're probably going to see a much more complicated world where video on demand surpasses DVRs."

CBS is part of Viacom Inc., ABC is owned by Walt Disney Co., NBC is a division of General Electric and Fox is controlled by News Corp.


So they are finally getting their heads out of their asses and seeing the light. Sure I skip thru commercials (on the programs that I don't watch live), but before DVR's, I had never stuck around to watch the commercial anyways.

And even with 2 DVR's and masses of new recordings, I still don't have time to watch all of them. So I have had to delete the recordings as I know that I will never have time to see them. But DVR's help me watch the 'must see' programs that overlap each other.

Chris
Old 11-16-05, 05:33 PM
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I can't believe that most DVR households watch 90% of their shows at the original time of broadcast. Do they consider waiting an hour into a sporting event etc. as watching it at the time of broadcast? That's the only time I watch anything close to when it originally aired.
Old 11-16-05, 05:36 PM
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gee ... why is it that every time there is a new advance in entertainment technology from CDs, VCR, DVDs, recorders the entertainment executives, RIAA MPIAA, bitch and moan and run to Congress and the Courts to try and block the technology, saying the sky is falling. LOW and behold, the technology opens new markets and revenue streams for the said entertainment companies. This is just wash, rinse and REPEAT!
Old 11-16-05, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by chowderhead
This is just wash, rinse and REPEAT!
Yep!

Chris
Old 11-16-05, 06:12 PM
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Of course knowing that people skip the ads, why would advertisers want to spend $$ to have an ad knowing noone will see it. Watch a popular show get cancelled since there is no $$ to pay for it.
Old 11-16-05, 06:25 PM
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pay per viewing will be here eventually. You will get so many showings from your cable/satellite operator and the people who watch a lot of shows will pay more for viewing them. Either that, or advertising will go the way of in-show product placement or even seamlessley putting the commercial into the show(imagine Jeff Probst describing a new Chevy car's features before starting a reward challenge). Commercials as we know it are starting to show their grey hair.
Old 11-16-05, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by resinrats
Of course knowing that people skip the ads, why would advertisers want to spend $$ to have an ad knowing noone will see it. Watch a popular show get cancelled since there is no $$ to pay for it.
I don't think advertisers assume that people will watch all their commercials even now. Commercial breaks are also called snack/bathroom breaks for a reason. If they want people to watch their ads, they would have to ban remote controls.
Old 11-16-05, 07:21 PM
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Someone send this to FOX about Arrested Development stat!
Old 11-16-05, 10:15 PM
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I cannot believe that statistic about DVR owners watching live broadcasts. I don't know a single Tivo/DVR owner that does that with anything but sports.

The whole point, IMHO, of having a Tivo is to watch TV when it's convenient for you, not when the networks tell you you have to. I watch far more TV than I did before, but it's more efficient...I can do other things and I'm not a slave to a schedule.

I still say the only way television will be broadcast in the future is with part of the screen devoted to advertisements during the show OR everything is some type of pay-per-view setup. Traditional commercials are a dying breed.
Old 11-16-05, 10:22 PM
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More product placement!!
Old 11-16-05, 11:26 PM
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I watch mostly everything live. The only time I timeshift is when I'm doing other things, like work, or if there are two things on at once.

You also have to remember all the TV watching that isn't planned in advance. People do still flip channels to see what's on when they have nothing else to watch. 90% might be too high, but I don't think it's that outrageous.
Old 11-16-05, 11:28 PM
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"I think the entire DVR thing is transitional," Poltrack said. "We're probably going to see a much more complicated world where video on demand surpasses DVRs."
If you charge for video on demand, it won't surpass DVRs. DVRs are video on demand, moran.
Old 11-17-05, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
I don't think advertisers assume that people will watch all their commercials even now. Commercial breaks are also called snack/bathroom breaks for a reason. If they want people to watch their ads, they would have to ban remote controls.
I think networks realize this- but advertisers like to pretend, and the networks are only too happy to oblige. With DVR statistics this might break down.
Old 11-17-05, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TheKing
I watch mostly everything live. The only time I timeshift is when I'm doing other things, like work, or if there are two things on at once.

You also have to remember all the TV watching that isn't planned in advance. People do still flip channels to see what's on when they have nothing else to watch. 90% might be too high, but I don't think it's that outrageous.
Seems high, but I bet it is up there. I know my parents, and their friends all have/use the cable co. DVR box, yet they still sit there watching it live, even if they are recording. Best yet, I try and get them to watch something they recorded previously and I get the, "not now, Law & Order is on." But you are recording, you can watch that tomorrow sans commercials. Doesn't matter. Can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Closest I come is Lost. I time shift it, start it about 10-15 minutes in.

Not everyone records every show known to man to watch at a later date. I watched George Lopez live last night. I wasn't going to record and watch later, I just felt like having it on. Sounded like something to kill the time before Lost came on.
Old 11-17-05, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Peep
More product placement!!
Yes, and shows that have a single sponsor like back in the 1950's: "AT&T Presents: The Simpsons"

And the devices themselves can be a source of ads. Back in the winter of 2000, my ReplayTV started showing ads when you would pause -- a static screen for, say, Coke, would show up. That stopped pretty quickly (maybe having something to do with Replay's financial issues), but it's an option. Hell, Tivo may be doing this now, I don't know... I'm still using that same (ancient) ReplayTV unit.

I don't cry for Madison Avenue here... they still have many ways to get their message out, and as much as I try to avoid it, I'm still far too aware of various ads, products, etc. They'll just have to learn to adapt in this new environment. (And they'll have plenty of time to do it -- DVRs still have a fairly low market penetration.)
Old 11-17-05, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
DVRs are video on demand, moran.
Not necessarily. Case in point: a co-worker told me I'd like Entourage. This was not quite halfway through season two, so I popped open HBO On Demand, watched most of the first season, all of the second season up to that point, and then regularly started watching the show from then on. I use my DVR a lot, but it can't reach into the past.

Another possibility, although one that doesn't apply to me: if more than two shows I want to watch air at the same time, even a two-tuner DVR doesn't cover it.

I definitely watch a lot more television now that I have a DVR. I watch some things live, but mostly it's either sports or shows I can't timeshift (shows I can get in HD over-the-air but aren't offered in HD through my cable provider).
Old 11-17-05, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by hufferstl
(imagine Jeff Probst describing a new Chevy car's features before starting a reward challenge)
Why would I have to imagine it? I see it every season when "the person that never wins it all" gets a car.



My wife and I were talking about this topic the other night while time-shifting The Office, who invariably has a Chili's reference, followed by a Chili's commercial in the next break (we see about 1 second per commercial using the DTV DVR's '30 second skip').

Two hours after the show, who would remember the actual Chili's commercial on (I think it may have had flames cooking something or another). But everyone would remember the boss singing "I want my baby back baby back..." while sipping a margarita through a straw with the potential customer.

Now, my question is, does Chili's negotiate this to include the continued advertisement when the show goes into syndication (which probably won't have the following commercial) or to DVD?
Old 11-17-05, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
If you charge for video on demand, it won't surpass DVRs. DVRs are video on demand, moran.
While you can watch shows you've recorded when you want to, DVRs are not considered VOD in the way the term is used. With DVRs you're limited to what is showing or what has shown in the past that you've recorded. With VOD, you "demand" a certain title, and a specific video stream is sent to you.

For example, I started recorded Rome on my DVR partway through the series. In order for my DVR to show me the episodes I missed, it has to wait for reruns. However, the VOD feature on my cable box allows me to access those past episodes whenever I want.
Old 11-17-05, 11:32 AM
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Another story!

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...?track=tothtml

November 17, 2005

Networks Say TV Ads Still Matter

Executives seek to use their own research and findings from Nielsen to show that DVRs such as TiVo don't pose as big a threat as once feared.

By Meg James, Times Staff Writer

The 30-second commercial isn't dead after all.

At least that's what the six broadcast networks CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, UPN and the WB joined together to argue Wednesday, citing new research they contend shows digital video recorders such as TiVo don't pose as big a threat to the traditional TV spot as once feared.

At a news conference in New York, network research chiefs said there was increasing evidence that viewers who have the machines watch significantly more television than people who don't. Not only that, they said, users watch plenty of ads rather than zip through them using the fast-forward button.

"The advertising value is growing in these shows, it's not getting less," David F. Poltrack, CBS Television executive vice president for research and planning, said in an interview.

The view presented by networks was undeniably self-serving since commercial spots are the bread and butter of the TV business. But executives sought to use new research to poke holes in the notion that when technology makes it easier to skip over ads, people will stop watching them altogether.

Findings from Nielsen Media Research this fall in seven markets including Denver, Houston and Orlando, Fla. showed that viewers in homes with digital video recorders spent 12% more time watching television, for a total of 5.7 hours a day on average. When factoring in DVR usage, prime-time programs saw a 4% boost in their viewership.

The networks said their own research showed that more than half of DVR users paid attention to commercials and that they recalled spots they saw. The network studies also indicated something surprising: that 53% of DVR users have gone back to watch commercials they initially fast-forwarded through.

Since DVRs were introduced about five years ago, network executives have fretted that the devices would diminish the value of commercial time, making it more difficult to generate the ad dollars needed to produce expensive, high-quality shows.

Advertisers have worried about how to deliver their messages if their favorite method, the 30-second commercial, lost its punch. Prognosticators have long suggested that DVRs would cripple commercial TV.

"Never have so many people been so wrong for such a long period of time," CBS' Poltrack said.

But Tom Meyer, president of Davie-Brown Entertainment, a Los Angeles firm that seeks to integrate products into shows, said that even if significant numbers of DVR owners watched ads, networks still must come up with additional forms of revenue.

"It's a fact that consumers are using technology to evade advertising," Meyer said. "Advertisers pay for on-air mentions because they want to make sure that consumers are taking in their message and not zipping through it."

Robert Riesenberg, chief executive of Full Circle Entertainment, which is owned by advertising giant Omnicom Media Group, said that with TV, the Internet and video games competing for eyeballs, advertisers have worked harder to stand out. That often means trying to get their products integrated into a program as well as buying commercial spots.

"It's not that the 30-second spot is dead," Riesenberg said. "But in the face of this fragmentation and clutter, the messages have to be stronger and more engaging."

About 8% of U.S. homes have a DVR, Poltrack said. That number is expected to grow more than threefold, to about 40 million homes, within five years.

Nielsen research also showed that about 90% of the DVR users watched the shows at their designated broadcast time. Predictably, the most recorded shows were the highest-rated programs: "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost' on ABC, "Survivor" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" on CBS, "American Idol" on Fox and "ER" on NBC.

Shows in the most competitive time slots also were heavily recorded. On Thursday nights, network studies found that DVR users were likely to use the devices so they could watch both "Survivor" on CBS and "The O.C." on Fox. "The O.C." was the ninth-most recorded program even though it ranks 78th overall.

Similarly, "The Apprentice" on NBC, which airs opposite "CSI," was the sixth-most recorded program. Last week, "The Apprentice" placed 32nd in the Nielsen rankings, while "CSI" was No. 1.

"The impact of DVRs is going to be different show by show," Poltrack said. "It's going to be the survival of the fittest."

Alan Wurtzel, president of research and media development for NBC, said the networks wanted to highlight the data to debunk what he called the "urban legend" that "DVRs were going to kill the business."

How did that legend catch on? Wurtzel's theory is that because the earliest users of DVRs were mostly tech lovers and industry insiders, their habits were not representative of the entire population.

"The earliest adopters tend not to have the same behavior as the mainstream audience," Wurtzel said in an interview. If all Americans behaved like those who first embraced DVRs, "we'd all be wearing black, driving Jags and Mercedes and trying to get a good table at the Palm."


Chris
Old 11-17-05, 11:39 AM
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If all Americans behaved like those who first embraced DVRs, "we'd all be wearing black, driving Jags and Mercedes and trying to get a good table at the Palm."
Early DVR adopters were all Frank Sinatra?
Old 11-17-05, 11:46 AM
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My DVR has suddenly started acting differently. I can still fast forward, but I now have to stop the show, go back into my recordings and hit play, otherwise it will just keep fastforwarding through the show. Before I could just hit play and it would return to normal speed.

I wonder if this is some kind of weird tactic to stop fastforwarders (there were a couple commercial breaks I sat through last night, because I was too annoyed to go through the process) or if my DVR is just screwed up.
Old 11-17-05, 12:59 PM
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"Never have so many people been so wrong for such a long period of time," CBS' Poltrack said.
Hmmm, slavery, maybe. How about the holocaust? Or USSR, even. People who prayed to Zeus or Jupiter...

These TV execs don't seem to have a firm grasp on reality.
Old 11-17-05, 02:22 PM
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I agree that we watch more shows overall than we used to, simply because my DVR records and stores everything until we're ready to watch. We do, however, skip the ads., meaning we knock about 15 minutes off each hour of television.
Old 11-17-05, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Draven
I cannot believe that statistic about DVR owners watching live broadcasts. I don't know a single Tivo/DVR owner that does that with anything but sports.

The whole point, IMHO, of having a Tivo is to watch TV when it's convenient for you, not when the networks tell you you have to.
Another thing to consider if that people may NOT have anything better to do at that time. If you're sitting around bored when Lost comes on, it doesn't make a lot of sense to sit around and wait to watch it recorded at some later date. Unless someone absolutely refuses to watch commericals, maybe.
Old 11-17-05, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by DRG
Another thing to consider if that people may NOT have anything better to do at that time. If you're sitting around bored when Lost comes on, it doesn't make a lot of sense to sit around and wait to watch it recorded at some later date. Unless someone absolutely refuses to watch commericals, maybe.
I could see understand that not everyone would necessarily do this, but I will go find something else to do (or watch something else that's recorded) to avoid watching anything "live."

I love not worrying about "what's on tonight?"

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